Wednesday, October 3, 2007

smalltown boy



I was listening to KEPC, 89.7, on my way to work yesterday morning, when this song came on. I started singing at the top of my lungs, physical memories of lights and people and my own dancing body flooded my world. When I finally came to, I found I had missed the left turn green light, at least eight cars having gone before me, and mine having gone nowhere. Luckily, there was no one behind to wake me from my revelry with an angry, "I have to get to work, bitch, stop singing!" honk. It has been playing in my head for the last two days.

It was somewhere in the mid-80's and music ruled the world. My world, anyway. I spent the latter half of that decade in college, with a semester abroad in Spain and a year abroad in England. All the while connecting myself to people who would go see The Cure in Madrid or Robyn Hitchcock in Manchester (I drove a van full of 15 students through the roundabouts of Manchester to get us to that show!), or Echo and the Bunnymen in Seattle.

Once upon a time, dance music wasn't just one tedious beat after another. "Maybe," she says with a sigh, "I'm just getting old and I just don't get it."

But when this song came on in the club, we were ALL there, rushing to the dance floor to work out our darkest fears, our dearest hopes, our lovers and friends all together in the same realm. Bronski Beat. I willingly confess to loving this band. Listening to The Age of Consent over and over and over again in my dorm room. Dancing as if my body or soul might explode at any minute. I miss that. There's no place for us of The Breakfast Club generation to dance that will play Bronski Beat. Or Simple Minds. Or New Order. Or Cabaret Voltaire. Or Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets. No place that I know of anyway. Please enlighten-I desperately need to dance to something other than endless monotonous techno filled with teasingly painful reminders of my past. (I think they're called "samples").

1 comment:

Jim Thomsen said...

Maybe the New Life folks can use "Eighties Nights" at their sumptuous facilities as an evil means of trying to attract new followers into their nefarious folds.

"You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round ...."

As I'm within a year or two of your age, I too share your Eighties musical nostalgia. Our tastes overlap quite a bit — Echo and The Bunnymen are close to the top of my list. There's also early INXS, Depeche Mode, The Church, Sisters Of Mercy, New Order, Siouxsie Sioux and The Banshees, Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Ultravox, Hipsway, oh, man ... multiple nostalgia-gasms here ....